Welcome to Day 9 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! @wendyjaynescott @RRBC_Org #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW

The Crystal Tavern by Wendy Scott

This piece is in remembrance of my Creative Writing student, Gill Pontin, who suddenly passed away in October 2020. Gill was an artistic dynamo whose enthusiasm, creativity and laughter will be dearly missed. She was a key participant when our group developed a new world, Creedland, and this story is set in Vape Town.

“Whoa, boy.” Blade Driscoll tugged on the reins and pulled his destrier to a halt. He surveyed the outskirts of Vape Town, unsurprised by the ramshackle buildings and pock-marked roads. The air reeked of burnt sugar and the back of Blade’s throat tingled. Between his thighs, Stormbolt shifted, wrinkling his equine nose and shaking his head from side to side. The horse’s plated armour clinked together destroying any attempt at stealth. Blade nudged his mount towards the main street, the sooner he finished his business in this cesspit the better for his sanity.
Pink-eyed townsfolk slunk away from the war horse’s hoof spikes. Pastel smoke billowed from a series of chimney stacks and led him to the front steps of the Crystal Tavern. Scantily clad fairies with tattered wings slouched against the verandah railings. Out of habit, Blade scanned their faces but didn’t recognise any familiar features. He didn’t waste his breath asking after his friend as their vacant stares and pink-tinted irises indicated their minds were lost in a kaleidoscopic haze.
Crystal Pink was manufactured from bog flowers and utterly irresistible to fairies. Its euphoric buzz leached away their magic, attacked the delicate blood vessels in their wings, rendering them flightless, before their bodies swelled to human size. The only way to gain their fix was to enslave themselves to Gurezil Flintsunder, owner of the Crystal Tavern, the unofficial mayor of Vape Town, and the largest whore-master this side of the Despicables. Lowlifes flocked from every dark corner of Creedland to sample the unique fairy delights.
Blade dismounted and left Stormbolt’s reins dangling, ready for a speedy exit. Anyone foolhardy enough to try to steal the stallion would learn how hard the war horse could bite.
Blade checked his weapon inventory. If blood flowed today, he didn’t intend any of it to be his.

Before the saloon doors swung shut behind him Blade tugged a bandanna over his mouth and nose. Steam laced with cotton candy sweetness curled through the dimness. Chunks of crystals simmered in heated ceramic bowls, producing bubbles and sickly fumes. Each table featured glass paraphernalia plugged with multiple hoses. Tendrils of pink smoke escaped from the pipe tips.
Pain pulsed in Blade’s forehead and his eyes watered. He sipped shallow breaths as he scanned the front parlour, counting four patrons slumped in the booths. Their hands grasped the tubes as if they were lifelines. Fools; it was death they courted.
A month ago, he’d rescued Maie Quickthistle from Gurezil’s clutches, sneaking her away while the tavern slumbered. When she’d surfaced from the drug’s grip she’d attacked him like a demented harpy, begging for her next fix. He responded by locking her inside a rented room, but she’d broken out the window and hightailed it back to the Crystal Tavern. After that failure, he decided to change his tactics.
A bartender slumped across the bar and ignored Blade as he slid into an empty booth and shuffled into the shadows. From here he had an unobstructed view of Gurezil’s office door and a ringside seat to the drama he knew was about to unfold. The next bog flower shipment was due within the hour, and he wanted to witness Gurezil Flintsunder’s reaction when he learned his entire crop had been destroyed. The poison had cost Blade his life’s savings but the wizard assured him that this would taint the bog for generations. With one application he’d wiped out the only source of Crystal Pink.

Half an hour later, boots thundered along the passageway and a man hammered his fists on the office door. “Boss, there’s a problem with the latest shipment.”
Gurezil flung the door open and stomped into the hallway. “If those imbeciles have stolen as much as one flower I’ll strip the flesh from their hides and feed it to the fairies.”
“There are no flowers.” The man held out a limp vine. “Something’s wrong with the whole patch.”
Gurezil snatched the vegetation out of the man’s hand, lifted it above his nose, and sniffed it. The blood vessels on his cheeks blazed beetroot. “Stinks of spoiled magic. There’s no time to waste, saddle up the horses and the wagons, we need to salvage what’s left.”
Blade stayed in the shadows until they disappeared outside. Whistling, he ascended the stairs two at a time before gently opening every door along the top corridor. A rush of stale air tainted with the drug’s signature sweetness filtered into the passage. Fairies dozed on bunks, oblivious to his presence as their minds languished in a hypnotic blur. He didn’t desire to be anywhere near Vape Town when their mass withdrawal kicked in. Dealing with one psychotic fairy was enough to test a man’s mettle.
He counted his blessing when he found Maie Quickthistle out cold, making it easier to transfer her onto Stormbolt’s saddle. As a precaution, he bound her hands together and checked her pockets for hidden daggers. Earlier, he’d prepared a campsite in the surrounding woods as he understood the next two days were going to be tough on the both of them.
If he’d known how sharp fairy teeth were he might have reconsidered this rescue plan. Bloody bite marks and grazes marred his forearm and face, and he was sure he was missing a piece of his ear. His ears throbbed from Maie’s constant shrieking, and he hoped she’d have no memory of all the things she’d offered him in exchange for a fix.
After a sleepless 48 hours, his eyes were redder than an addict’s and his thoughts foggy. Maie’s limbs contorted into a fetal knot and whimpers escaped her throat. She was quieter than earlier, but he kept his distance as she’d lured him into striking range before. He yawned and struggled to keep awake. Perhaps he’d snatch a moment’s rest.
Something fluttered against his cheek and Blade wrenched his eyes open. Tiny fairy wings whirred close to his face. He held still as Maie planted a kiss on the tip of his nose. “You saved me.”
Lightness flooded Blade’s soul. “Of course, that’s what friends do.”

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Profile on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA catalog.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow along each day of this amazing tour of talent by visiting the tour home page!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about today’s profiled author:

Wendy Scott’s RWISA Author Profile

DAY 5 #RRBC SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR BLOG TOUR

Thank you, Charles W Jones, for hosting my blog tour today.

Today, I welcome Susanne Leist, the RRBC Spotlight Author for September 2020.

HE HAS COME FOR ME – WRITTEN FOR PREY FOR THE DEAD

(Note about the poem from Susanne Leist.) Poetry began as a way to promote my books. Now, it is one of my passions. This poem describes Wolf’s love for Linda, a vampire who loves a human.

HE HAS COME FOR ME

He has come for me.
I’ll never be free.
He comes at night,
Fear at first sight.

He claims his love,
But he’s no dove.
He’s evil as can be,
Always searching for me.

I must hide until morning,
Or the town will be mourning.
The devil hides his face.
I know his deadly pace.

His footsteps ring hollow.
Steps quicken to follow.
He sings a sweet song.
I know I’m not wrong.

The devil is right behind me,
Even though his face, I can’t see.
He has me in his grasp.
I cry out with a gasp.

He kisses me with passion.
I know this is his fashion
To take what is not his
And make me into his.

THE DEAD AT HEART

William’s bite bonded Shana to him, but he didn’t ask her to mate with him for life. She isn’t ready for a lifetime commitment. Now, William excludes her from his vampire meetings. Shana understands he’s an original vampire with immense powers. For them to be a couple, he has to treat as an equal partner. If William doesn’t respect her, then what are their chances of finding happiness?

Shana speaks to Linda, her best friend, of her fears.

“Paradise is an illusion.” Shana’s face grows heated as her frustration mounts. “Oasis is a haven for vampires. I’m tired of their battles. The Watchers get rid of an evil group of vamps, and another group arrives and attacks. It’s a vicious cycle. Vampires are trouble.”

“We will have a happy ending.” Linda lifts her head. “Don’t lose faith. The Watchers will protect us, and Gregg has an elite force of original vampires.” She touches Shana’s arm. “William loves you; he won’t let something happen to you.”

“The vampires keep secrets from us.” Shana swallows the lump in her throat. “I don’t want to live with vamps anymore, and I need time to decide on my relationship with William. One minute, I’m suffocating, and then the next, I’m lost without him.”

As a new enemy descends on Oasis, Florida, Shana turns to Sheriff Sam, who broke her heart. Can she trust the human-vampire?

This begins Shana’s journey to fight vampires and werewolves with Sam at her side.

An explosion at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec doesn’t stop Shana and her friends from saving their town, and maybe even the world.

ABOUT SUSANNE LEIST
Susanne Leist

I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn’t reading late into the night, the TV shows such as Murder She Wrote and Columbo, entertained me with murder and suspense tales.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal, murder mysteries, but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.

The Dead Game, Book One of The Dead Game series, brings fantasy and surrealism to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

The story continues in Book Two, Prey for The Dead, as The Dead vampires use an exclusive club in Disney World to infiltrate the rich and famous. As The Dead grow in power, not even the bright sunshine of Florida can weaken them. Linda and her friends join forces with human vampires–known as hybrids–to defeat the evil threatening to control Oasis. A masquerade ball and a romp through the tunnels beneath the town lead to a showdown in southern Florida’s swamps.

The Dead At Heart is Shana’s love story. Will her love for William strengthen, or will Sam lead her on a different path? At Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Shana and her fearless friends fight for Oasis and their lives.

A career in writing has been a giant leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it’s too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart.

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Thank you for supporting RRBC’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author!  If you’d like to follow along with each stop of this tour, please check out our “SPOTLIGHT” Author forum on the RRBC site.

READ A BOOK BY THE SEA

Open the book to see

How much fun it can be

To explore the unknown.

Do I hear a big groan?

Just you wait and see

How right I can be.

SNOW IS FALLING

Snow is falling on the trees,

hanging tight to the cold leaves.

A winter wonderland in the south.

I gaze ahead and open my mouth.

A bitter taste fills my heart & soul

as I plunge into the rabbit hole.

Snowflake

THE DEAD GAME

Snowflake

Five of the 100 Indie Books You Should Read Before You Die

Five of the 100 Indie Books You Should Read Before You Die

Great works of literature are being produced by wonderful independent authors who are breaking the mold in the literary world of fiction.

Too many literary sources completely omit or overlook Indie Books when compiling their lists of the 100 books you should read before you die. They showcase the legends, the classics.

Yet, we are fortunate to have a lot of outstanding books by outstanding indie authors in today’s literary marketplace. We are continuing our series featuring great indie books you should definitely read in your lifetime, knowing that the list will always change with the passing years and with the release of new books.

Here, in no particular order, are the five books we are featuring today.

The Promise of Provence

By Patricia Sands

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can’t wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise—until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed by the picturesque countryside, the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, and the enchantment-filled boulevards of Paris, Katherine feels life opening up once again. Lavender perfumes the air, and chance encounters hint at romance and passion. But memories of heartbreak and betrayal linger—and her former life waits for her back home. Can she find the courage to begin again?

The Desolate Garden

By Daniel Kemp

After Lord Harry Paterson is summoned to London following his father’s murder, he discovers an age-old secret and must ascend into his family’s true inheritance.

Digging deeper, he finds out that his late father, Lord Elliot Paterson, had discovered a hidden ledger dated all the way back to 1936… and a vast quantity of money erased from the accounts. Mysterious initials and an address in Leningrad – a major port in former Stalin’s Soviet Union – are his only clues.

Together with the attractive Judith Meadows, Lord Harry must unravel the mysterious death of Lord Elliot – and figure out the mystery hidden in the files of the Royal Government Bank.

Deadly Dominoes

By Linda Pirtle

The setting for Deadly Dominoes is Caddo Lake. Situated in the Cypress basin of northeast Texas, Caddo Lake, with its cypress and ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss, provides the perfect backdrop for mystery, murder, and militia mayhem. Lillian’s curiosity is peeked right from the start.

She meets Brandon, a young man who sacks groceries at a convenience store and service station. He gives her a warning. “You’d better be careful. Crazy things have been happening out at that RV Park at Caddo.”

Of course, Lillian questions him and learns that people have been disappearing.

The Caddo camp director invites Lillian and Bill to the Friday night domino games held at the camp’s Pavilion. Lillian sees the camp’s maintenance man. He reminds her of someone. But who?

During a break in the domino games, a loud explosion is heard. Thus, begins a string of murders, mysterious curses with an attached domino, and attempts on the lives of other campers. Lillian is determined to answer the following questions:
Who is the person or persons leaving dominoes and notes on the bodies of one victim after the next? Everyone is a suspect.

Does the explosion have any connection to the game of dominoes or with the murders or attempted murders? Lillian must connect the dots. And puts them together, she does.

The Dead Game

By Susanne Leist

Beneath the town’s sandy shores lies an evil so great and powerful.

Linda moves to a seaside town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple–that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this small town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents and tourists are stalked by dark shadows. However, this is only the beginning.

Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at a deserted house. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house, or so they think.

They must embark on an arduous journey, chased by supernatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the game and everyone in town. Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires? Maybe a combination of both? Will there be an end to their evil game? Will Linda and Todd find love? Will a second book be needed?

The Dead Game has begun.

The Ninth District

By Douglas Dorow

The Federal Reserve has never been robbed.

Suspense, intrigue, and dazzling plot twists power this tale of an FBI special agent and rookie investigator racing through the darkest layers of Minneapolis to chase a sinister Federal Reserve robber.

FBI Special Agent Jack Miller, pulled into a high-profile case to mentor a new agent, finds himself in a clash with the toughest opponent of his career. The chase culminates in the bowels of the city, in the storm sewers and tunnels beneath The Ninth District Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.

Previous Books Selected:

Sleeping Tigers by Holly Robinson, Wings of Mayhem by Sue Coletta, Blood Orchids by Toby Neal, The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell, Blood Land by R. S. Guthrie, Deadly Chocolate Addiction by Sally Berneathy, Circle of Hurt by Jim H. Ainsworth, Dancing on Air by Uvi Poznansky, Army of Worn Soles by Scott Bury, Trouble in Glamour Town by S. R. Mallery, Mateguas Island by Linda WatkinsKiss the Girls and Make Them Die by Kelly Marshall, The Compost Pile by Stephen Woodfin, The Hollow Man by Paul Hollis, Avengers of Blood by Gae-Lynn Woods, Tabula Rasa by Gordon Bickerstaff, A Silver Medallion by James R. Callan, The Girl in the Window by Jake Needham.

 

Dead Storm by Helen Hanson, Remains by Marjorie Swift Doering, The Last Victim by Jordan Dane, Vigilante by Claude Bouchard, Ludwika by Christoph FischerStranger at Sunset by Eden Baylee, Stutter Creek by Ann Swann, A Change of Hate by Joe Broadmeadow, When the Sun Was Mine by Darlene Jones, Nobody’s Child by Libby Fischer Hellmann, The Zen Detective by Devorah Fox, That One Moment by Patty Wiseman, Mail Order Groom by Dana Wayne, The House of Lies by Debra Burroughs, Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner, Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, Cold Justice by Rick Polad, Each Day I Wake by Seb Kirby, The Bridge to Caracas by Stephen Douglass, No Sweat Pants Allowed by Jan Rimes, In the Attic by Garry Rodgers, A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr, My Brother’s Keeper by S. S. Bazinet, The Undernet by J. S. Frankel, Pearseus: Rise of the Prince by Nicholas C. Rossis.